THIS is the moment a 73-year-old man had to be rescued from his car after it crashed into the River Can in Chelmsford city centre.

At about 11.25am today, a Lexus reversed through railings near Barrack Square Bridge opposite Stonebridge Walk and went into the water.

The driver tried to frantically escape through the sunroof as his car started sinking but became tangled by his seatbelt.

Passers-by dived into the water to save the man while police, firefighters and paramedics also rushed to the scene to help cut him free.

He had seconds to be rescued as water gushed into the submerged vehicle.

Assistant Divisional Officer Doug Sylvester from Chelmsford fire station said: "Firefighters used specialist equipment to smash the sunroof and then cut the seatbelt to free the man.

"A ladder was used to bring him to safety, he was very cold after his ordeal but not seriously injured."

Paramedics took the driver and four other people who all jumped in to help rescue him to hospital to be treated for possible hypothermia.